Career: Creating Your Social Media Brand for Job Searching

One of the easiest ways that you can get noticed by employers is through your online profiles. More specifically, a LinkedIn Profile and Twitter are the primary social mediums being used by recruiters to find employees. Recruiters spend hours online searching for talented people to join their organizations and would love to find you…as long as you are “findable”. One way to make sure that you are found is to create a strong social media brand for yourself. A Social Media brand is the way you present yourself and your work experience online that differentiates you from other people. The key pieces of your brand include your profile pictures, what you write about your experience and skills, who you follow, the connections you have, and what you post. There are multitude of ways you can create a strong brand for yourself. These 5 tips are some easy ways you can quickly create accessible and polished social media profiles.

1. Selfie Selection

What is more commonly referred to as a profile picture, is the first place people look at when they land on your LinkedIn or Twitter Profile. A good picture is one that clearly shows your face (usually with just your face or to your shoulders), has your hair in a neatly done style, and wearing professional dress with limited jewelry. When I was a recruiter, I knew recruiters that would judge candidates by their picture. If the person in the picture looked unkempt, unfriendly, or unprofessional, the candidate could be denied an initial interview. While it may seem easy to put up any picture where you can see your face, it is important to take a minute to make sure that you look like a polished professional in that picture.

2. Headline

Just like a tagline for a company, your headline is a concise way to express who you are and/or what you want to do. You can use a headline for both your LinkedIn profile and your Twitter profile. These can be the same or similar depending upon how you are using your Twitter profile. If you are actively looking for a job, you can also include that information as well. Next to your picture, your headline will be immediately seen by a prospective employer. Some good examples are:

  • Creative Problem-Solving Coder looking for next Challenge
  • Data Visualizer | Information Manager | Problem-Solver
  • User Experience Designer, Passionate Solver of Complex User Issues

3. Summary

The summary section of a LinkedIn Profile provides the perfect opportunity for you to talk about your expertise and ultimately the value you can bring to an organization. It can be written in first person or third person, but should be concise and include keywords relevant to your skills and abilities. This is also a great place to highlight your technical skills by listing them in your summary. Recruiters actively look at summary sections to find if candidates would be a match for their specific organization. This section is also searchable, so including keywords can help recruiters pull up your profile. While this isn’t the place to write about everything you have ever done, it is important to have a least a paragraph written.

4. Skills

The skills section of the LinkedIn profile is one of the primary ways that your profile can be searchable for recruiters using LinkedIn. Because you can populate your own skills section, take a moment to think about the keywords that highlight your current skills and also align with the type of jobs you want. People can endorse you for these skills as well, so make sure they are relevant to your expertise and aren’t all aspirational. A complete LinkedIn profile will feature between 5 and 20 skills. A good number of skills to start off a profile is 10.

5. Posting

One way to get yourself noticed on Twitter is by your tweets and retweets. Recruiters are starting to use various hashtags to find talented professionals that post or retweet articles relevant to specific skillsets. If you blog, have a portfolio, capstone project, or other work that is online, tweeting about your work with relevant hashtags can attract recruiters and others to find out more about you and your skills. Another tactic to get yourself noticed is to tweet directly at recruiters with links to your LinkedIn profile or portfolio. For LinkedIn, the new publishing platform is one way you can get yourself noticed. Write a few blog posts about your experience as a new professional, challenges with your job search, or what you are passionate about can attract recruiters to learn more about you and how you can add to their organization. While these technologies are not often used, they are the new frontier for recruiters searching for talent.

With a little effort your profiles can easily jump to the top of the search list when recruiters go looking for talent.

– Alycia McKenzie, iSchool Career Service Advisor

For more information, tips, and tools for conducting your job search, visit the Career Services website.

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